Rated as ‘Best in County’ and 16th in England, West Sussex is a popular inland golf course located on the Northern edge of the South Downs. With a reputation like that to uphold, Course Manager Ian Streeter enlisted the help of a Graden for the courses’ scarification requirements – and has benefitted two-fold from his efforts!
Five years ago Ian decided to invest in a Graden Swing Wing and a Contour Sand Injector (CSI). “I’ve been familiar with the Graden machinery for a number of years as we used to contract R&K Kensett in to work their magic with the CSI machine,” explained Ian. “After trying other methods of thatch removal we just weren’t getting the results we desired on our greens, and couldn’t believe the results we were achieving with the CSI.”
Now supported by Charterhouse Turf Machinery, Ian has continued the Graden work on the greens once or twice a year as well as moving onto the tees and approaches. “Due to the level of thatch on our greens, we started scarifying with the CSI at a depth of 25mm but this has gradually come up to 15mm as the thatch level has decreased. I would estimate that overall the thatch content has reduced by 70% and continues to reduce with every pass.”
The CSI is a scarifier/aerator with the ability to scarify to any depth between 1mm-40mm, whilst simultaneously backfilling the grooves with either sand or a combination of sand and seed. Its ability to do both jobs in one pass reduces play downtime without causing any detrimental effect to the firmness of the ground. Ian has received positive feedback from the club and players alike on how the greens have quickened up, firmed up and general play has improved.
Not only has Ian achieved better quality greens, now that the thatch level has reduced significantly he has been able to undertake a species exchange. Before the Graden work, the greens at West Sussex were approximately 80% Poa. Now able to overseed with bent grasses, they are roughly 70% bent offering a more sustainable surface in terms of required water and chemical input.
“The Graden machinery has been one of the best purchases I’ve made. It has completely turned around our greens and I now would never use anything else.”